2018 4-H Legacy Awards: Youth Take Center Stage

By _Amaya_Collins_ March 21, 2018

In its 9th year, the 4-H Legacy Awards has continued to prove that young people will always be at the center of why we do what we do. Their stories of compassion, drive, resilience and strength remind us that without them, the future doesn’t seem as bright. Because the future is in their hands, and they prove it every day.This year’s event, held at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., honored a new group of honorees made up of young people, 4-H Alumni, partners and advocates. Additionally, we were honored to be joined by a group of elite 4-H grown alumni who have a passion for 4-H and prominent platforms to share that passion.

Young People Take Center Stage

Before any award is given, any partner is recognized, we remember that every day, we serve and empower young people. Our 4‑H’ers.

The evening kicked off with the National 4‑H Youth Advisory Committee sharing how they live by each aspect of the 4‑H Pledge, while members of the Juntos 4‑H program recited the pledge in Spanish. The pledge was followed by Georgia 4‑H’er Callista Clark, using her powerful voice to serenade event attendees with the National Anthem.


Through service, leadership and passion, the all-female group of 4‑H Youth in Action winners shared their 4‑H stories and the work they do in their communities. The 2018 recipients are: Serena Woodard (Ag – sponsored by Bayer Crop Science); Kyra-Lee Harry (Citizenship – sponsored by Nationwide); Sophia Rodriguez (Healthy Living – sponsored by Bernadett); and Cassandra Ivie (STEM, sponsored by HughesNet). These young people have used the interests they have in their respective pillar areas to be powerful forces in their communities.

The event concluded with the announcement of the 2018 National 4‑H Youth in Action Award winner, awarded to STEM recipient Cassandra Ivie, whose passion to empower more girls in STEM truly shined.

Honoring 4‑H Grown Alumni

This year, we are honored to have proud Georgia 4‑H Grown alumna and 4‑H Luminary Nikki Clifton emcee this year’s event. As the Vice President of UPS Global Public Affairs, Nikki Clifton attended her first Legacy Awards in 2017 as a member of the inaugural 4‑H Luminaries class.


This year’s Distinguished 4‑H Alumni Medallion award was very fitting as the night’s event took place on National Ag Day. Receiving this year’s Alumni Medallion was Zippy DuVall, Georgia 4‑H alumnus and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. A third-generation farmer, Zippy DuVall remains a voice for agricultural producers and continues to advocate for agriculture education in the country.

Of course, many other alumni were present and even presented for the night. As a special guest, Delaware 4‑H alumna and 2017 Alumni Medallion winner Aubrey Plaza shared her amazing story and announced her new role as a National 4-h Ambassador for Service.

Thanking Strong Partners and Advocates

This year, 4‑H acknowledged David Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer David L. Cohen of Comcast, for the company’s instrumental role in amplifying the 4‑H brand. As the recipient of the 4‑H Brand Champion Award, David’s dedication to 4‑H and telling the story was praised and worth celebrating.


Another corporate honoree was New York Life, for their continued work in the Latino community through the very successful and expanding Juntos 4‑H Program. The Corporate Leadership Award was accepted by the company’s president, John Y. Kim.

Lastly, legendary Olympic gold medalist and agriculture advocate Jackie Joyner-Kersee joined in on the evening festivities, as she announced a new ag partnership with 4‑H. The inspiring athlete shared her passion for agriculture and the importance of increasing its visibility in urban and all communities.

Check out more photos from the 2018 4‑H Legacy Awards!